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Calls for roadworks closure to be pushed back due to fears over Christmas trade

PUBLISHED: 08:36 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:03 02 November 2017

Oak Street in Fakenham could be temporarily closed in December. Picture: Adam Lazzari

Oak Street in Fakenham could be temporarily closed in December. Picture: Adam Lazzari

Archant

Fakenham Town Council is calling for the closure of Oak Street to be delayed until January after businesses said the timing of the proposal could be “disastrous”.

The council said they have called on the Highways department at Norfolk County Council to delay to the road closure, which is currently scheduled to take place between December 11 and December 13, because of the impact it could have on Christmas trade.

Oak Street is one of the main access routes into the town centre and the only route for buses. It is also the main road used by a large Tesco store for deliveries.

The closure is to allow work to be undertaken by Anglian Water. A spokesperson for the company called the work “vital” and said they requested the temporary road closure so that engineers can connect a new development to a water supply.

“We know how disruptive road works can be, that’s why we’ve chosen these specific dates to avoid the busiest days in the town – like market day - and to minimise disruption for local residents and businesses as much as possible,” they added.

But the town council disagrees with the timing and said that, along with Tesco, they are speaking with Highways to have the date pushed back until the second week of January so the potential impact on trade can be reduced.

Other traders in the town have voiced their concerns about the plans, fearing that the closure will significantly impact their businesses at a vital time of year.

Adrian Vertigan, former mayor and manager of the Salvation Army store on Oak Street, said: “Closing Oak Street in December would be disastrous.

“It is going to affect the whole street, buses won’t be able to get in, the large Tesco store will have issues with its deliveries and as a charity shop on the high street in December it is really important to us that we are able to receive parcels for our annual toys and tins appeal.

“It is only three days but those are three vital days. They will be closing the main artery in the town. To do that to a town like Fakenham before Christmas is ludicrous.”

Are you concerned about the impact a Christmas road closure could have on Fakenham? Let us know what you think of the plans by emailing steve.shaw@archant.co.uk.

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